Cellular phones are one of the fastest and possibly one of the most addictive gadgets in the ever growing technological world.

The world’s first commercial handheld cell phone became available to the public in March 1984 and it was a Motorola DynaTAC 8000X. It weighed 1.75pounds and was nicknamed ‘The Brick’, afar cry from the sleek phones offered by major manufacturers in the present day.

These days, texting aka chatting has become a major means of communication that it has evolved a language of its own. Most people are so used to texting that they lack the basic phone etiquette when on an actual voice call.

The sleek versions of the phone has also created a problem – one of dependency. Most people don’t know when the phone should be set aside in favor of real life happening in front of them.

The phones were and are meant to foster communication and bring people together. However, they seem to have achieved the opposite and this is because most users lack the proper phone etiquettes.

Below are some guidelines for proper phone usage

Don’t take a call in the middle of a face-to-face conversation

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his is very rude and disrespectful to the person or people you were speaking with. The connectivity phones give us tend to push us away from actual real life interactions.

Never text or talk and drive

Safety first always. You can cause an accident in that second you look away to send a text. Any messages or calls you receive can wait till you get to your destination except you can answer your phone via Bluetooth devices. Texts however requires your hands and that’s a no no.

Put your phone away at the dinner table

It is rude to use your phone during dinner, whether dinning out or at home. When seated at a table with people, they deserve your attention. Even continuously glancing at your phone is rude. If you’re expecting an important call, be sure to let your dinner partner know first hand to excuse your occasional phone glances. This is also not an excuse to check every text that comes in.

Turn off the phone in places such as a church, mosque, temple, or theater

These are places where you are expected to be respectful of others using the space with you. If you won’t turn off your phone be sure to put it on silence, not vibrate.

Avoid texting during office meetings

You really don’t want your boss to catch you texting during a work meeting. Even when you’re the boss, bringing your phone into the meeting and using it sets a bad example for your staff.

Avoid talking on the phone in a waiting room, but if you must, leave the area first

Picture yourself taking a call in a quiet office waiting room. All attention will be switched to you. If the waiting room is a noisy one, you won’t hear the person on the other end anyways.

Avoid using a phone on public transportation

Most people using public transport usually hope to have a smooth ride. Phone calls especially loud ones disrupt that plan. If it’s at the close of work, commuters are likely tired and just want to get home and not listen in to your conversations.

Lower your voice when using your phone in public

Always! No one wants to hear you argue with your boyfriend or listen to you yak about your cousin who was declared ‘persona non grata’ at the family gathering this year. That’s too much information.

The above are just a few general rules. There are others. To know more about etiquettes, think of what would annoy you with how another person uses his or her phone and avoid that!